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Broken HEQ5 pillar mount - fixable?


billyharris72
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Hi all:

Not a DIY or metalwork buff so thought I would ask on here before I waste my money trying to get it repaired.

I just took delivery of a Skywatcher HEQ5 pillar mount (the kind that has its own legs, not the extension). To cut straight to the chase, I over tightened one of the bolts and broke the flange of one of the legs of the mount (see attached for the joint as it should be and the broken one) :sad:

Is this something that would be relatively straightforward to repair, and if so would the repair be rigid and robust? I'd rather get it repaired if I can, but don't want to waste time and money faffing if it's a write off.

If welding the flange back on won't be strong enough, how about welding the thing together (i.e. the legs to the pillar)? Would that be stronger?

Thanks for any advice you have.

Billy.

pillar.jpg

Joint_OK.JPG

Leg_broken.JPG

Flange_broken.JPG

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Oh dear!. The material looks to be cast aluminium, if so it is quite brittle and as you have found, snaps if overtightened. This material is difficult to weld or glue satisfactorily. If I was attempting to repair it I would attach a full vertical length piece of flat aluminium bar to the surviving ends of the casting, cut a slot or drill a hole to accept the clamping screw and not overtighten it next time.  :icon_biggrin:

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I am looking at the fourth photo and if it were my call I would drill and bolt a L type bracket onto the leg and drill a hole in the bracket for the bolt to go through. You probably would need a longer bolt though.

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That was sort of my suspicion. You're right Peter, it is actually Aluminium, and even if it could be welded the surface area of the weld is really small, so I doubt it would be particularly strong. Astroboot sounds like a good idea - if I could just pick up a spare leg from somewhere that would make life much easier. I think I'll ponder my options on this one.

Cheers,

Billy.

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1 hour ago, Peter Drew said:

Oh dear!. The material looks to be cast aluminium, if so it is quite brittle and as you have found, snaps if overtightened. This material is difficult to weld or glue satisfactorily. If I was attempting to repair it I would attach a full vertical length piece of flat aluminium bar to the surviving ends of the casting, cut a slot or drill a hole to accept the clamping screw and not overtighten it next time.  :icon_biggrin:

Aluminium alloys are easy to repair using aluminium welding sticks and a blowtorch.

Sadly that crystalline fracture looks more like Mazac (A.K.A. 'Monkey Metal'). You can get special fillers for mazac but the low temperature difference mean weldng is very challenging. It does only need a blowtorch, but there is a big risk of just ending up with a molten lump.

I would consider tapping holes in the pillar and putting two hefty screws through the parts instead.

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23 hours ago, smudgeball said:

If you don't mind white, I have the feet off the eq6 version you can have.

No need for them as I've modified the main tube into a permanent pier.

Another example (if it were needed) of how supportive this site is. Problem solved, and I've got a good idea for a longer term project. Thanks Neil!

Billy.

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